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Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category

An Abridged History of Rejection

I’m excited to announce that after more than fifteen years of dedicated writing, workshops, critique groups, and conferences, of getting the input of a freelance editor, and of doing countless manuscript swaps with writer friends, I have an agent. The amazing Jenny Bent of The Bent Agency is representing my novel, ROOM 100, and we are currently working on revisions….

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The four stages of editing

When I find myself answering a question frequently, it’s time to blog about it. Many writers ask, “What’s the difference between developmental editing and copyediting?” Or, “Does a substantive edit include proofreading?” What these questions have in common is some confusion about the four separate stages of editing. A manuscript that goes from draft to published book must pass through…

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Successes from 2012

Last year set all kinds of records: in my number of clients, in increasing my efficiency in the administrative side of my business, in attracting new visitors to this site, and most of all, in client successes. Here are the highlights: Harriet Parke’s novel Agenda 21 hit the bestseller lists on its launch day. Jen Westby’s beautiful memoir of grief Six…

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Quick tip: Fresh writing vs. over-writing

If you’ve read even one book on writing, you’ve heard some contradictory advice. On one hand, you’re supposed to keep your language “fresh” and “original,” “rendering” it through the character’s point of view. On the other hand, you’re told to avoid “purple prose,” “over-writing,” and “heavy-handedness.” Here’s a quick rule of thumb. You don’t need embellished language (or “rendered” language,…

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Holiday gratitude giveaway: win a literary book bundle!

Dear friends, clients, fellow writers, and readers: In honor of this year’s holiday season, I’d like to say thank you for what you add to my life and business, The Threepenny Editor. I count myself lucky beyond reason for the chance to work every day with people who are as committed to books, writing, learning, and ideas as you all…

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An open question about speculative fiction.

In another post, I ventured a functional definition of speculative fiction. I said that a manuscript is “speculative” (i.e., fantasy, sci-fi, or anything in between) if it requires the writer to invent a rule or condition for their world that acts as a metaphor for the novel’s theme. In other words: If you make something up, that something has to…

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How to Plan a Novel: Beg, Borrow, or Steal Buy This Book Now

The Art of Dramatic Writing by Lajos Egri My rating: 5 of 5 stars If there is one book I cite more than Strunk and White’s classic The Elements of Style, it is Lajos Egri’s relatively obscure gem. I happened upon it thanks to a writer-friend of a writer-friend who took one of James Frey’s (no, not that James Frey,…

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Video tutorial: Choose the right protagonist

This short introduction to character will help you make smart, strategic choices about who gets the starring role in your novel. It’s a tutorial based on an important concept discussed in my writing guide, The Editor’s Lexicon: Essential Writing Terms for Novelists.

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